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50 Terrible Movies Featuring Great Actors

Larger Than Life (1996) Bill Murray

The Terrible Film: A motivational speaker is left a “huge” inheritance by his circus clown father: an elephant. Cue a road trip full of obvious animal bonding and clunky jokes.

The Great Actor: Oscar-nominated comedy actor who has become a legend throughout several generations thanks to star turns in Ghostbusters, Groundhog Day, Lost In Translation, Scrooged and so many more.

When Bad Filmmaking Meets Brilliant Acting: Murray is uncharacteristically low-key and rather forgettable, adding to the film’s dreary, low-energy tone.

Xanadu (1980) Gene Kelly

The Terrible Film: A musical, roller-skating, fantasy film in which a Greek muse comes to Earth and inspires a young man to open a nightclub. Not only did the film win the very first Razzie for Worst director, it was actually the film that inspired the creation of the Razzies in the first place.

The Great Actor: Oscar-nominated performer best known for his energetic dance routines, such as those seen in Singin’ In The Rain and An American In Paris .

When Bad Filmmaking Meets Brilliant Acting: Sadly, it was Kelly’s last movie musical, but he didn’t look back on the film with too much regret. He said “The concept was marvellous but it just didn't come off."

BMX Bandits (1983) Nicole Kidman

The Terrible Film: A film about two BMX bikers and their female friend, who learn of a bank robbery when they accidentally come across a box of walkie-talkies. Throughout the film, the bank robbers – despite having guns and a big car – fail to get the better of these kids on bikes.

The Great Actor: Oscar-winning actress with a huge back catalogue of awards-worthy films to her name, including The Hours, Moulin Rouge, Cold Mountain, Eyes Wide Shut and Australia .

When Bad Filmmaking Meets Brilliant Acting: It says it all that Kidman’s stunt double in the film was actually a man in a wig. Still, she put in a good performance in this, her movie debut, and on the strength of this film, she landed a part in TV show Five Mile Creek .

And so began her long, celebrated career.

Battlefield Earth (2000) Forest Whitaker

The Terrible Film: Hammy sci-fi film based on a novel by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard in which humans rebel against their alien overlords – called Psychlos. It was a critical failure, a huge box office bomb and has become the butt of nearly every ‘worst movies’ joke ever since. Remarkable, considering that it was supposed to be the first part in a two-film story.

The Great Actor: Oscar-winning, dedicated actor with a reputation for intense character study and the star of such acclaimed films as The Last King Of Scotland, Bird, Phone Booth and this month’s The Butler .

When Bad Filmmaking Meets Brilliant Acting: At the time, Battlefield Earth broke a Razzies record, winning in every single category it was nominated.

Forest Whitaker managed to get away without one though, losing out on Worst Supporting Actor to his co-star Barry Pepper. Whitaker has since expressed regret at making this film.

Love In Paris (a.k.a. Another Nine & A Half Weeks) (1997) Mickey Rourke

The Terrible Film: A direct-to-video sequel to 9½ Weeks , which sees Micky Rourke reprise his role as John Gray without Kim Basinger’s Elizabeth. Set (and released) ten years after the original, this film sees Gray obsessing over his lost love and starting another passionate affair, but this time the film falls flat, failing to be even remotely sensual or erotic.

The Great Actor: A once hunky leading man, starring in Rumble Fish , Angel Heart and Barfly before pursuing a career in boxing. He then made a massive comeback with The Wrestler , for which he was Oscar nommed, and has since starred in blockbusters like Iron Man 2 and Immortals .

When Bad Filmmaking Meets Brilliant Acting: Unfortunately, the film was shot shortly after Rourke’s boxing career ended and he had to have reconstructive surgery, which changed his appearance dramatically. As such, he spends a lot of this film in the shade.

Fat Slags (2004) Anthony Head

The Terrible Film: Gross-out comedy based on the obnoxious characters from Viz, which sees these obese, boozing shaggers find fame in London. Highly offensive and not even in a remotely good way.

The Great Actor: Respected thesp best-known for his roles in the Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Merlin TV shows, as well as starring in a whole host of other films and telly productions.

When Bad Filmmaking Meets Brilliant Acting: Head delivers a typically strong performance as an evil assistant in the film, but everything going on around him is so utterly atrocious (including Geri Halliwell in a starring role) that it’s hard to find any other redeeming feature.

The Visitor (1979) John Huston

The Terrible Film: Made by Italian-American filmmakers Ovidio G. Assonitis, renowned for ripping off Hollywood blockbusters, this film was criticised upon release for its similarities to Close Encounters Of The Third Kind and Damien: Omen II . Even still, this tale of a young girl with telekinetic abilities, caught in a metaphysical battle between good and evil comes across as an art film gone mental.

The Great Actor: Considered a rebel and a pioneer in the filmmaking industry, Huston was an acclaimed director, screenwriter and actor with 15 Oscar noms to his name (and two wins) and is responsible for some of Hollywood’s greatest films, including The Maltese Falcon, The African Queen, The Man Who Would Be King and Moulin Rouge among others.

When Bad Filmmaking Meets Brilliant Acting: Huston stars as a cosmic warrior who engages in battle with an eight-year-old girl and her pet hawk. It’s any wonder how Huston – an incredibly talented director himself – became involved in this hugely pretentious twaddle.

Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation (1994) Matthew McConaughey

The Terrible Film: A half-sequel, half-remake of the original classic horror film, made with a shockingly low budget, shelved for three years and only released properly when stars Matthew McConaughey and Renée Zellweger became A-listers.

The Great Actor: Charismatic actor with a wealth of different genres to his name, including comedies, political thrillers and even sci-fi. He then went on to star in a string of fluffy rom-coms, but has recently appeared in mostly awards-worthy fare, such as The Lincoln Lawyer, Killer Joe, Mud, Magic Mike, Dallas Buyers Club and the forthcoming Scorsese picture The Wolf Of Wall Street .

When Bad Filmmaking Meets Brilliant Acting: The film is generally considered to be the worst in the franchise, but Mconaughey still has a certain bug-eyed charm.

Tentacles (1977) Henry Fonda

The Terrible Film: Another rushed-out, cynical sea-monster movie trying to capitalise on Jaws , but this time featuring a giant, angry octopus.

The Great Actor: Hugely successful Hollywood icon and Oscar winner with a career spanning six decades and a legacy as one of the greatest male stars of all time.

When Bad Filmmaking Meets Brilliant Acting: Even Fonda's turn as the construction head antagonist whose drilling disturbs the octopus' lair can't save this film from being terrible B-movie tripe.

Heart Condition (1990) Denzel Washington

The Terrible Film: Bob Hoskins stars as a racist cop who receives a heart transplant taken from a black lawyer, who then returns as a ghost and tells him to track down the men that murdered him.

The Great Actor: Serious, dedicated actor with gravitas and two Oscar wins to his name, starring in Malcolm X, Philadelphia, Training Day, Courage Under Fire and more.

When Bad Filmmaking Meets Brilliant Acting: Washington was talked into making this film by his agent, who he subsequently fired, and he never made anything close to a comedy again until this year's 2 Guns .